Boonville senior Eliza Adams is trying to make a positive out of everything that has happened over the last month.
Although Adams would rather be in school and playing soccer for the Boonville Lady Pirates soccer team, the thought of not having a graduation has hit her harder because she feels this is something the senior class has worked for their entire life.
“At this point all I can do is hope and pray that we have a ceremony because it is something not only me but everyone has been looking to since Day 1,” Adams said.
“We have been waiting to get our caps and gowns and have been anticipating our graduation day so much. It’s really bring a lot of emotion and all I can do is pray at this point that we have a ceremony because right now it’s probably the most important thing in the world to us seniors.”
A three sport athlete at Boonville High School-four if you are counting dance-Adams played three years on the soccer team, two years in volleyball and dance and one year in wrestling.
Although it was a hard choice because Adams liked all the sports, she said soccer was probably her favorite. She said she really loved the group of the girls that she had every single year.
Adams played soccer for Boonville as a sophomore, junior and senior.
"My sophomore year I was very, very nervous going into it because I had never played soccer in my life, not even on a pee-wee league when I was 8 or anything like that,” Adams said. “We also had a new coach and I didn't really know coach Kaz (Hazell) yet at that point yet, so when I first got there I didn't really know what to do or who to really talk to but everybody was so welcoming and I immediately felt a family.
“I felt like I had another whole family that I could count on or talk to whenever I needed to or whenever I wanted to. Every moment on and off the field was so much fun with my teammates and as the next year came I was a little more confident in myself and being on the field was such a fun feeling. Then the senior year came and it was kind of time for us seniors to step up and be role models and be leaders and that really scared me but seeing how much the girls looked up to me and up to Heather (Severns) and to Gabbi (Webster). There was a feeling that it was just so amazing to be able to have people that can trust you to be a leader and can depend on you like that. Even though we didn't really get to play I think the time that I had with all the girls on the soccer field my senior year was probably my favorite.”
Adams used the word “disappointing” when describing not being able to play her senior season in soccer. She said when she first got the e-mail that school was closed until the end of April and later extended to May, she was heartbroken. Although not having school was tough enough, Adams said she was really looking forward to seeing how much knowledge, technique and skill the younger girls had gained from just a few practices.
“They were my second family,” Adams said.
While we will never know how the Lady Pirates would have fared this season, Coach Kaz Hazell said Adams had become a well respected leader for the team and is willing to go out of her way to help out her teammates.
“I’ve had the privilege of coaching Eliza for the last three years and I am extremely proud of her and the person/player she has become,” Hazell said. “She is not only grown as a player on the field, but in the classroom as well. Eliza has a bright future ahead of her.”
Adams said she saw herself as an all over girl when it comes to her career in soccer. She said basically wherever coach Kaz needed her she was willing to step up and play that position. However, Adams said she was most a holding mid or an attacking mid.
“On occasions I would be a center forward or a wing,” Adams said. “There were times where I also played backline to be defensive, but I’m greater on my attacking skill more than I am on my defensive skill. Coach Kaz kind of liked putting me up top to see what I can do and how I worked with the ball on attacking and not so much defensive.”
As for the highlight of her career as a team, Adams said it was literally any moment when someone would score a goal on the field and everybody would erupt with happiness. She said she just like seeing the other girl’s faces and them being overwhelmed with happiness and excitement.
As for an individual highlight, Adams said she recalls on game on the JV team her sophomore year. She was on a breakaway and it was just her and the goalkeeper.
“The goalkeeper was coming at me and I just tapped it as light as I needed to because I was really close to the goal and didn’t need much power,” Adams said. “It slid in to the left corner and that was like one of my first goals and I was so excited I didn’t know how to feel. I kind of lost my brain for a second. I didn’t know whether to cheer really loudly or just kind of stand there and wonder what happened.”
Although soccer was Adams’ first love, she also enjoyed her time volleyball, dance and wrestling.
While playing volleyball her freshman and sophomore year, Adams said she liked volleyball and being on the court. She said it was fun because the team would be depending on her to make a really good pass or being able to kind of save the ball in anyway.
“It was just a really, really great feeling just being able to chase after the ball,” Adams said.
As for dance, Adams said she has always been a “dancy” person because she did gymnastics for 7 1/2 years and liked doing the floor exercise.
However, Adams said she rejected dance her freshman year because she was really sure. Then, as a sophomore, she said she joined the dance team and really liked it.
“It was so much fun and exciting with the choreography,” Adams said. “It was just a really, really fun experience overall. I didn’t do dance my senior year because I was going to be doing multiple sports and I would have been so stressed out with the amount of time and effort you put into both sports. I was also maintaining a job so it would have been very hectic.”
Adams also developed a passion for wrestling. Although she wrestled for just one season, the senior grappler said it was one of the most fun sports she has ever played.
She also figured since it was her senior year, she would just trying everything.
But she is glad she did. Adams said she had so much fun and gained so many new friends and it brought her a lot closer with the girls on the team.
“Honestly, I loved everything about wrestling,” Adams said. “It was just very freeing and it makes your mind a lot more open to a lot of things.”
Adams also recalls her first win as a wrestler. It was in the Osage Tournament and Adams said she was wrestling a girl from Southern Boone. While applying the “chicken wing” on this wrestler, Adams said she didn’t know if she would be able to hold the move much longer. But then the referee blew his whistle and smacked the mat to signal a pin.
“I got up and I smacked the mat because I was so excited and hearing my family on the sidelines,” Adams said. “My dad was there and all three of my brothers were there along with my aunt. It was so exciting and one of the best feelings in the world to know that I wrestled my heart out and it had finally taken me somewhere.”
Of course Adams also liked being creative when she had the time. In her spare time, she said her hobbies included interior design, decorating and creating art. She also loved music and would make her own songs.
Adams also found time to play the ukulele, which she said is more for the creative side.
As for the athletic side, she said she likes to snowboard when she can and do some longboarding in the neighborhood.
Adams plans on attending Stephens College in Columbia this fall and major in nursing. “I want to become a OBGYN,” Adams said.